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How nominations are considered

The process from nomination to award

Nomination submitted to the Honours and Awards Secretariat

When a nomination is received by the Secretariat, it is registered and an acknowledgement is sent to the nominator. 

Nomination research 

Secretariat staff conduct research and may contact referees suggested by the nominator and others sourced directly by the Secretariat.  The purpose of the research is to:

  • confirm information provided by the nominator; and
  • provide additional information that may be relevant to the Council.

Referees are supplied with guidelines to assist them in providing useful comment.

Council consideration

Once research is completed, nominations are presented to the Council for consideration.  

The outcome of the nomination can either be:

  • an appointment or award recommended;
  • no appointment or award recommended; or
  • deferral of the nomination for consideration at a later meeting. 

Council recommendations/Sounding

The Council makes recommendations to the Governor-General on appointments and awards at all levels. However, prior to the Council recommending a nominee to the Governor-General a letter of approach (sounding) is sent to establish whether the nominee would be willing to accept an award if offered one. As part of this process advice is sought to ensure that the personal details provided with the nomination are correct for the Register of Awards.  Additionally, the proposed recipient will provide advice regarding details to be publicly released. 

Governor-General approval

Once the Governor-General has considered and approved those recommended for appointment or award in the Order,  congratulatory letters are sent to successful recipients. Awards should remain in strict confidence until public announcement.  


Awards and appointments in the Order of Australia are publicly announced on Australia Day (January 26) and The King’s Birthday (the second Monday in June), on this website and through the media.  Publication of the list is also notified in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette. The Honours List is strictly embargoed until 10pm on the eve of Australia Day or The King’s Birthday.  Recipients may, however, be contacted by the media prior to this announcement as we enlist their support in celebrating the achievements of recipients and promoting the Australian Honours system.


Recipients are invited to an investiture ceremony at the Government House in the state or territory in which they reside, where they are presented with their award in the Order of Australia by either the Governor-General or State Governor or the Administrator of the Northern Territory (dependent on location and level of award).

Investitures take place twice a year, usually in April and September.